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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

2g8                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
power of voting for whom they would. But, if this were so,
the plan was so far forth a failure, for men selected for so im-
portant a duty by a party, and not meeting as a body nor
required to deliberate together, could not have the cohesion
and common action of representatives. They are qualified
to be and are merely agents, and as such have no responsi-
bility separate from that of their principals.
But although direct election ought to belong to the citizen
universal suffrage caPable of exercising political rights with intelli-
diJect5 eiect?odn░with gence╗ under the  reign  of universal  suffrage
iL                   something like indirect election prevails.    We
refer of course to the fact that, in democracies, where the
party principle is strong, the voters find all the candidates
chosen for them by irresponsible men meeting in a caucus or
convention, and governed quite as much by personal as by
patriotic motives,    A sufficient time before an election a con-
vention is assembled to consider what  candidates for state
officers shall be proposed for the party, and a list is pub-
lished embracing all the principal officers of the state.    Then,
a day or two perhaps before the election, another caucus de-
termines the candidates for the legislature, or only those for
the house of representatives.    Not one in a hundred of the
voters has his opinion asked in regard to the selection ; tmany
of the names are those of unknown persons, some of them
those of persons in whom their neighbors have no confidence,
but who must be floated onward by the general popularity
of the ticket, and by the habit of voting en masse for all the
names upon it.    This is a description of what is happening
in hundreds of districts and towns and in all the states of this
union.   Nor is the evil confined to the United States.    M.
Courcelle Seneuil gives us an account of a similar state of
things in France.*    " With this form of election,0 says heŚ
that is, with the direct voteŚ" the elector cannot know the
candidates between whom he is called to choose.    They are
at a distance from him ; he has never seen them, and prob-
*
* Heritage de la revolution, p. 193 et seq.